In this March 22, 2019 photo, a customer makes a sports bet at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. Casinos in eight states are opening or expanding retail sportsbooks to capture in-person sports betting business, even while most of the growth in the new industry is forecast to be online. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Though future online, casinos pour cash into sportsbooks

May 04, 2019 - 12:05 pm

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Mobile apps might drive the future of sports gambling in the United States, but casinos are still betting big on physical sportsbooks as legal wagering expands to new places.

Lounges, bars and other shiny new spaces are giving casinos and other operators a new way to attract patrons for things besides betting on sports. It's a strategy long used in Las Vegas, where sports betting is dwarfed by betting on slot machines and table games. But it's new for places like Atlantic City or Biloxi, Mississippi, which until recently primarily relied on restaurants, shows and other offerings to keep casinos as fresh draws.

In New Jersey, where mobile wagering accounts for about 80% of sports betting, physical sportsbooks are required by law.

But rather than treat them as a burdensome cost, Atlantic City casinos are investing millions into turning expanded betting facilities into draws for gamblers that want to bet and watch games with friends.

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Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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